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Friday, January 13, 2012

Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr

Redwood Bend by Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full Length (377 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Katie Malone and her twin boys' trip along the beautiful mountain roads to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, the rain has set in, the boys are hungry and Katie is having trouble putting on a spare. As she stands at the side of the road pondering her next move, she hears a distinct rumble. The sight of the sexy, leather-clad bikers who pull up beside her puts her imagination into overdrive.

Dylan Childress and his buddies are on the motorcycle trip of a lifetime. But the sight of a woman in distress stops them in their tracks. And while the guys are checking out her car, she and Dylan are checking out one another.

In one brief moment, the world tilts on its axis and any previous plans Katie and Dylan might have had for their futures are left at the side of the road.

Picking up the pieces and moving on again and yet again is not Katie Malone’s favorite thing to do. But she can and will do it for her twin sons and for herself. She will find stability for them. However, on her way to this stability, her life takes a detour into a quagmire of emotions—a quagmire that almost swamps her at times. The remarkable people of Virgin River give a little assistance and she comes out wiser, stronger, and heart whole. Best of all the reader gets to travel this road with her—an awesome trip.

On a cold rainy night on a narrow mountain road near Virgin River, single mother Katie has a flat. When four motorcycle riders stop to help, her heart gives a jump of fear then it gives another kind of jump. One of the rider’s is Dylan Childress, long ago child movie star she's spent much of her teen years idolizing.

He is tempting, but movie stars are not faithful or stable enough to be depended on for rearing a family. Still, he's a “major hottie” with his long, lean, beautiful body, twinkling crystal blue eyes, and sexy swagger. Her much loved Green Beret husband had been dead five years and her last male friend had made her question her judgment, making her decide she’d just be happy raising the twins and living without a man in her life. But Dylan causes her body to hum with longing.

Dylan was snatched away from movie stardom by this grandmother Adele while he was still in his teens. To keep him from being ruined by Hollywood, she took him to the wilds of Montana where he soon learned he was not a “little god” that everyone fawned over. He learned to work and fit in with other kids his age. Now he owns a charter plane service and airport in Payne, Montana but feels his bad genes make him unfit to be a family man, so he avoids commitment. Yet, the confident, feisty, little rain-soaked woman he meets on that narrow mountain road near Virgin River spins his life out of control. Katie Malone makes him feel things that scare the daylights out of him.

Whether by destiny or chance, Katie and Dylan are both in Virgin River, a place that works miracles with lonely, messed-up hearts. There is a special magic there that wiggles its way into the hearts and minds of flawed yet admirable people and gives them hope and courage. It lets love tiptoe in on little cat feet and settle into hearts where it abides for a lifetime.

Katie and her twin boys come to Virgin River to be close to her brother Conner who has been the boys’ dependable male connection all their lives. He is like a big, solid oak that they can lean on. Katie, although independent and confident, knows the twins need their uncle. Yet keeping Conner out of her personal life is a challenge, especially when Dylan becomes more than a passing fancy to Katie.

The humor that threads its way through Redwood Bend makes it sparkle. Ms. Carr’s use of it to augment personalities is a delight as she captivates with sights, sounds, smells, tastes and so much more. She creates a wonderful sense of place. The emotional upheavals and the sputtering starts and stops of Katie and Dylan’s relationship keep the reader turning pages and sometime wanting to give advice.

Redwood Bend is a vicarious experience that lifts the heart and makes one happy that love finds a way even against tremendous odds. If you have read books of the Virgin River series, you’ll feel like you’ve had a special reunion with some characters you’ve met before. If you haven’t read this series then Redwood Bend is a perfect place to start.